Wilsonville, Oregon (PressExposure) November 18, 2008 -- A Tigard man won the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs top Horticulture Award for 2008 for his continued contribution to garden clubs around the state and school gardens. Michael O'Loughlin was given the award at the state convention in Wilsonville.
O'Loughlin spends most of his days running his company and building school gardens. He was responsible for the building of a three-acre garden in Tigard at Mary Woodward Elementary School called Woodward Gardens. This garden has been featured in many publications and television shows because of its commitment to excellence. Woodward Gardens has 16 raised beds with themes such as 'Tops and Bottoms', Three Sisters, Salsa, Thai, Five Senses, Pioneer and many more in which the children plant and raise crops that are distributed to the community.
The Garden funds its activities with monies from the sale of plants that the students raise in the two greenhouses on site. The garden has an outdoor classroom with rainbarrels and a bioswale. There is a huge composting demonstration site with signage, a weather station and a boardwalk over the wetlands adjacent to the garden. Teachers use the garden to teach about science, literature, social studies and more.
O'Loughlin has also consulted with other schools on gardens including Vose Elementary School in Beaverton, where he attended as a child. He is working on a master plan for a new school garden in Tigard at Alberta Rider Elementary School
He was instrumental in helping the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs build one of the largest Standard Flower Shows in the country. On several occasions it was named the number 1 flower show in the United States. His dedication to details and knowledge of horticulture we key to this.
Currently, O'Loughlin is producing the Energy Trust Better Living Show (www.betterlivingshow.org) in March at the Portland Expo Center. It is the largest sustainable lifestyle event in the Northwest and one of the most successful events in the city. The show highlights many sustainable gardening techniques as well as other products.
Blue Ocean Events produces the largest sustainable lifestyle event in the Northwest.